Message from the Chair
A Message from the Chair
Board Chair Krysten Brennan (left,) with
her husband Walt Brennan (right.)
As I serve my 3rd time as Board Chair of the Directors Guild-Producers Training Plan (DGPTP), I continue to be forever grateful for the relationships and experiences gained through being a part of the DGPTP. As a Producer Trustee, I enjoy the production perspective I gain by participating in our Plan’s different programs and by interacting directly with the Trainees and with my esteemed DGA colleagues on the Board. I truly believe that the Training Plan, as a joint effort, union and management, has benefited the entire industry over the last 60 years by developing a dedicated, informed and diverse corps of excellent Assistant Directors.
The Assistant Directors Training Program annually admits a select group of candidates and allows them the opportunity to prepare for a career in motion picture and television production. The ADTP is unique in that it seeks to provide education and opportunity for those who aspire to become an Assistant Director. Acceptance into the program provides paid “on the job training" as well as mentorship throughout training. The ADTP has trained hundreds of men and women from diverse backgrounds, and has “graduated” them as qualified to work as DGA 2nd Assistant Directors. Many of these graduates have continued on to successful careers as 1st Assistant Directors, Production Managers, Producers and in other senior production positions. The program offers a life-changing opportunity both for those already working in production and those who have never set foot on a set but have a demonstrated interest and aptitude for this career. The Board of Trustees work together to oversee the ADTP, as well as develop and offer safety and harassment prevention training for members of the Directors Guild, and a program of continuing education for DGA Unit Production Managers.
As time permits, I enjoy volunteering to mentor Trainees and other DGA members in the complicated world of the industry-wide below-the-line IATSE and Basic Crafts Collective Bargaining Agreements. I have acted as a resource to the entertainment industry as a whole and have been called upon to teach seminars regarding these contractual working terms and conditions. My seminars have been presented to the Director’s Guild-Producer’s Training Plan’s Assistant Director Trainees, the Directors Guild of America’s membership generally, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producer’s (“AMPTP”) staff and a UCLA Extension’s class on industry contracts.
As for me, after graduating from UCLA, I soon began my labor relations career working at Warner Bros. as a Labor Relations Representative in 1988. I moved “from the Bat to the Rat” in 1996 when I joined the Labor Relations team at Walt Disney Pictures. I have “specialized” in the world of industry working rules, terms and conditions for the behind the camera crafts which are also known at the “Below the Line” crafts (BTL). As an internal labor resource for Walt Disney Pictures, the scope of my role has expanded over the years to include Marvel, Lucas and Twentieth Century Studios productions. I was appointed by the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers as a member of the DGPTP Board of Trustees in 1993. I am currently the Vice-President of Labor Relations for Walt Disney Pictures.
It continues to be a privilege to serve on this Board, and it gives me great satisfaction to contribute in helping to train the next generation of excellent Assistant Directors and to help ensure a safe and nondiscriminatory work environment in the very competitive world of motion picture and television production.
Krysten A. Brennan
Board Chair, Director's Guild-Producer Training Plan
Vice President, Labor Relations, Walt Disney Pictures